Anne is a Master student veterinary medicine a Utrecht University with a passion for veterinary crisis management. She is also co-founder of the Animal Disaster Education (ADE) Foundation which is established to train an educate first responders in providing first aid to animals in crisis situations. The development of the Animal Triage Training Game is the foundations first project. Anne’s Master thesis research on the development of a veterinary field triage protocol for animals based on a triage system used in human medicine was the basis of the game.
An Animal Field Triage Protocol for Livestock and Horses Caught in Disasters
Field triage systems are available to address mass casualty incidents involving humans, but lack for animals caught in disasters. This study aimed to develop a veterinary field triage protocol for livestock, horses and wildlife based on an existing human triage system. A literature review and an expert consultation resulted in a concept version, which was followed by a two-round Delphi-study to evaluate and validate the concept triage protocol. The human SALT triage algorithm was chosen as the starting point of the veterinary model because of its recent development, fair accuracy and the inclusion of an initial global sorting step. For livestock and horses, consensus was reached on the use of global sorting based on the criteria ‘autonomously mobile without obvious major injuries’, and on five of six appropriate physiological criteria applied for individual health state assessment. Triaged animals were placed in one of four categories for applicable veterinary care, beyond saving (black), immediate/urgent (red), delayed (yellow) and minor (green). The expert panel agreed that the veterinary triage model is probably workable for livestock and horses and has added value in mass casualty incidents involving animals. Future work will focus on validating the protocol for livestock and horses with first responders during simulated mass casualty incidents and development of applicable protocols for wildlife. A serious game, the animal triage training game (ATTG), will be launched shortly, which can be used for further validation and training of the developed protocol.